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Neck jigs like the stew mac one but better?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tjclem, Feb 14, 2013.


  1. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
  2. Reticle

    Reticle

    Jul 24, 2009
    Charleston SC
    Aside from the fact that you could build one for 1/5 of their price (maybe with a tobacco-burst and some gold hardware o_O), it seems pretty nice.
     
  3. Haha, seriously. A couple $20 Chinese 'aerospace' gauge micrometers and a Home depot run for wood and bolts. I buy lots of tools from StewMac, but the price on this one is a bit cray.
     
  4. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Yep, built my first neck jig in 90, 2nd addition a few years ago. I don't use the feeler gauges, as I only use it for leveling frets and fingerboards or doing full fret jobs which is easy to do with simple tools.
     
  5. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    So you secure the the bass to the unit. String it up to tension and let the neck settle in then adjust the rods so they snug against the neck. Then remove the strings and adjust the truss rod so the rods are snug against the neck then level and fret?

    I hope I don't have to make several of these. I do basses from 30 scale 4's to a 36 fret 35 scale 6 string.

    Do I understand the basic procedure? :confused:
     
  6. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Tom, I sent you a pic of mine, it is adjstable from 12" scale uke to 41" scale DB.

    I loosn the rods completely, the body is secured to the platen height posts, and the headstock is secured with a rubber strap to a hook at the end or through one of the rod channels up the neck support piece depending on the scale.

    I have straight edges made out of 1/4 baltic birch ply that are slotted for different fret scales, so I can flatten the fretboard using the posts.

    Once you have the fretboard flat, you can then get an accurate level on the frets or fingerboard, thus allowing for easier final set up.

    Hope this helps

    Dan Erlewines procedure is probably much different, I believe there are a number of neck jig videos on Youtube
     
  7. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Thanks for the photo. So you don't string the neck up to tension?
     
  8. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    No Tom, I have no need, the minor corrections that may be needed after a complete leveling with the neck dead flat makes it unnecessary. This may b a need with a vintage instrument to tweak the setup, but I am not doing restorations that much anymore, and it was not something I did when I was restoring.

    Like I said, Dans approach may differ, but I am using mine for a specific purpose, and that is to create a level surface to do a setup, usually on a new build as opposed to a well broke in instrument

    As a side note, I do leave the instrument strung up for a week or two after and if a major tweak is needed, I will put it in the jig strung and set it then unstring, but I have only had to do this once. I think you will discover your comfort level as you work with it.
     
  9. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Ok thanks
     
  10. ON the ONE

    ON the ONE

    Nov 20, 2010
    Maine
    Hi musiclogic,
    Can I get that pic too? I'd really like to try building one of these.
    Thanks
     
  11. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    If somebody that was good at building jigs wanted to make some like the stew mac but better and reasonable I would think they could sell a few..... Just sayin....:eyebrow:
     
  12. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
  13. gbarcus

    gbarcus Commercial User

    Jul 20, 2008
    Minneapolis & St.Paul, MN
    Owner of Barcus Basses barcusbasses.com
    Do you guys prefer this method vs. a strings on approach such as the Katana?
     
  14. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Interesting never heard of it do you use it?
     
  15. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Figures the bass system is out of stock...... :rollno::scowl:
     
  16. gbarcus

    gbarcus Commercial User

    Jul 20, 2008
    Minneapolis & St.Paul, MN
    Owner of Barcus Basses barcusbasses.com
    I don't, but I have just recently started using a piece of angled aluminum that goes under the strings. Got the concept from devices like the katana. I suppose if you can find a high enough quality 2' aluminum level, pull the ends out, you might be able to create a budget version. (I know, I have an active imagination. :D )
    Before installing the nut, I use a temporary nut that is about 1/4" high, and put the saddles fairly high. Just enough where I can slip the angle under the strings and level the frets out.
    I matched up 3 pieces of bloodwood to equal heights, so I can put that on the fingerboard and adjust the truss rod so the neck is as flat as I can get it. I put the bar on top of the 3 pieces as a reference. Sometimes on a single cut bass, I'll get a slight dip in the 9-11 fret range, so I'll put the middle piece where I think there might be a low spot.
     
  17. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I contacted him and he does have a few in stock I am going to give it a try...t


    Thanks gbarcus
     
  18. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    That katana thing looks like a pain in the butt.

    Back in the 70s there was a system I used that worked with the strings on. It was a wide plate that you attached sand paper too. You jacked the strings up at the nut.

    [edit] Well how about that, they still make it:

    Thomas & Ginex Fret Refinishing Method

    I haven't used it in a long time, but I think it worked well.

    We have an Erlewine neck jig at the shop that we made back in the 90s, but I haven't used it in a long time. My former partner in SGD built it. He studied with Dan back in the day.

    These days I use one of these:

    http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Fretting_supplies/Leveling/Fret_Fingerboard_Levelers.html

    I have the 16" long version. I really like it.
     
  19. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Yeah Tom, if I had the time, I could whip a few out in a few days just no time

    As for this vvv
    Thomas & Ginex Fret Refinishing Method

    I also have one, found it useful for quick redress work but not much else
     
  20. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Thanks just wondering why you would go with the 16" and not the 24? Wouldn't it ...in theory be best to have one even longer than the fingerboard? so you don't do any leveling with the neck to tension?
     

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